Deborah Guzzi writes full time. Her book The Hurricane is available through Prolific Press and at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her poetry has appeared in Allegro & Artificium in the UK, Existere & Scarlet Leaf - Canada - Tincture, Australia - Cha: Asian Review, China - Vine Leaves Literary Journal - Greece, mgv2>publishing - France, Ribbons, pioneertown, Sounding Review, Bacopa Literary Review, Shooter, The Aurorean, Liquid Imagination, Concis, The Tishman Review, Page & Spine & others in the USA.
All the Pretty Little Ponies
After: The Fool on the Hill by Paul McCartney
The carousel reigns among the visitors; her image flickers behind gargantuan sheets of plate glass in this artsy garden home. Chortling, secretly in a sylvan wood, winking from mirrored eyes, not resigned to age in captivity untouched by the blaze of sun or downpour of platinum sky. Like St. Catherine’s Wheel without the sparks, the old gal spins round and round at the docent’s call.
Hidden movements of cogs and wheels spin within the calliope’s heart. Brass and brilliant, these clockworks raise and lower each of the fierce or flamboyant creatures which hold daily court, recalling the days of yesteryear. Hear the um pa pas pump through its organ—start?
a manicured forest waits:
do not walk sign
Sustained by love, her horses race on golden, spiraled, poles, chasing the ostrich, frog, or deer; never letting the cat come near. Though instate, she daily waits for little ones, who squeal for joy—to leap on the pinto or plop-down in the old green gilded sleigh.
In her missed notes, in the crackle of mirrored panes, a sense of longing resides, for the days long gone, the carnival days—caramel apples, cotton candy and taffy, for sun’s sweet rays, for the busker’s play, for the twenties when women were sassy. Yet, here she sits, assigned, bewitched encased in plate glass.
Art on the Bart
I met her on the Bart as the subway swayed like a fine woman’s hips. She was a picture of perfect imperfection. Her cherry-red bike chipped, shabby chic as her fingernails. We got on at Mission and 25th Street. A peaches and cream complexion defined her as au natural. She wore a dress of fiery-red polka-dots on a white ground which draped between elegant knees. This walking work of art and kindness bled poetry.
of sweat and perfume:
I [a fish out of water in her wake] asked the way to my stop. Her hands elegant in fingerless, red wool-gloves shifted atop the black, trash-bag covered seat of her ancient bike. As she braced the frame against the seat’s stanchion, she looked up smiling.
“I’ll watch for you. It’s hard to see—too much noise to hear.” She mouthed tapping her ear.
I glanced down at my sneakers beside her caramel cowboy boots, feeling a bit lost but safe. Her Pacific-blue eyes reassured me from beneath honey-colored bangs. She was a vision of disordered loveliness, this aide to wandering mothers.
The cars stopped and with a finger point, she shooshed me off the East Bay train, never telling me her name.
A Withering Reign
Inspired by The Bayeux Tapestry 1077
Clouds, top stitched with crows, smother a cruel sky.
The tapestry of morn captioned with flying glyphs
glowers at the assignations of allies?
Across the tundra, a Russian bear lopes
standing to shred the welkin with claw and
fang while the eagle sleeps with the Kremlin’s gifts.
On the bleached bones of the weak, the eagle gnaws
its baser side feasts on the kills of others.
Ruled by gold, its Aryan leaders once abhorred
demonstrate the state of hate between brothers.
Let rebels rise, Betsys with needles in their hands
to mend the standard of our founding mothers.
Pierce the sky at this cruel time, right demands
the return of light and justice to this land.
Chante Fable for Unholy Nights
Spiraling east into the sun, a cloudscape unfurls through vales and rills. Mist clings. We wing above. Air France buzzes Charles De Gaul airport, vibrating with holiday travelers. An eight-hour flight, NY to Paris, arrives. The drowse of sleepers goes uninterrupted by game playing mini-tyrants, parents’ call—children. A rocky landing gifts an omen, put-aside—too quickly.
France surrounds Paris, the mons Venus, its sweet bit on the Ile Saint-Louis. Notre Dame rises with esprit. The banks of laggard Seine rotund, pierced with light, spread, climatically stunned,
Ah, the intrusion of men, the confusion of women,
Vive la différence.
Among other retirees, I float the Seine toward Normandy disconnected from the Net. Lazing sated like the odalisque - La Grande in the Musée du Louvre in Paris. I munch hors-d’oeuvre and sip champagne. Peace and plenty engulf us as we move from lock to lock, disembarking only for choice sites. We peruse history sanitized for tourist’s palates. December twenty-first, we re-dock in Paris. At seven PM, we bus cruise the Champs-Élysées while in Dijon terrorists drive into eleven people in a Christmas Mart. Still, death is distant thunder which does not follow us to Provence in the south or home.
The Eiffel tower recedes,
height minimizes, misleads,
for the beauty of a dream
for war to end its regime.
Is there a difference?
Reconnected to the Net, I sit at home. Encased in quiet and serenity, I ponder. Is there any safety, any river of peace, any odalisque who has not chomped too often on the tit of condescension? The distance between ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’ has grown too great. Rebellion rides upon a pale horse.
La Petite mort de Mère
with utter disregard & apathy, Pip’s and Estella’s bid farewell
(no sense in chasing them) the west coast soul seekers run
from east coast roots & vice versa
(there’s no looking back) each escaping the
parental grasp once treed, these green buds--
to citron-suckled—meld to tangerine—then burgundy
are cheeky in their
like the blush of a vestal virgin or falling petals of September’s
mums—imagined or contrived, they flee with Cheshire Cat grins
a right royal tear of tender hearts—ripped up, ripped-in-two
this episiotomy of a day--from nubile buds or ancient family
trees they leave the nest, flee the tree
disperse (all gone—ground to sepia stages)
like the fortunes that remain in a teacup
fertile offspring leave returning only for
the birthing of